Reforesting: An Homage to Gil Ott
February 3 – March 17, 2012
First Friday Receptions: February 3, & March 2, 5-7pm
Reforesting: An Homage to Gil Ott is a collaboration between poet Julia Blumenreich and visual artist Wendy Osterweil. A multi-layered art installation includes a forest of silkscreened “spirit trees,” papercuts that conjure light and shadow in a forest environment, a wall of sycamore tree bark, “tea skin” composed of stitched and embroidered teabag papers, and an ethereal boat signifying passage to the next world. Reforesting represents a dialogue between Wendy and Julia, in response to Julia’s suite of 16 poems that investigate grief and loss. Gil Ott (1950-2004), a poet with over a dozen published books and a community arts activist, is the late husband of Julia.
Gil Ott worked at the Painted Bride Art Center for over 15 years and left a significant legacy. He was the driving force behind the Bride’s development of community-based programs, and he pioneered artistic practices that articulated the Bride’s work with communities.
His tall stature always reminded Julia of tree silhouettes. Through poetic images based on natural, historical, and mythological facts about trees, her poems evoke Gil’s final 10-month hospital battle and reforest the space his loss left in her life.
Julia and Wendy developed their artistic collaboration during the years since Gil’s death, finding mutual resonance in nature imagery. A group of women artists – Alia Tahvildaran, Nancy Agati, Julia Blumenreich, Jenni Desnouee, Marie Elcin, Carolyn Hesse, Tonia Hsieh, Charlene Melhorn, Willa Ott, Debby Pollak and Sarah Dekker, also created artwork for Reforesting.
Reforesting: An Homage to Gil Ott Poetry Event
February 26, 3-4:30 pm
Book release party for Gil Ott’s, Arrive on Wave: Collected Poems and Fiction of Gil Ott
Poetry reading of Gil’s and Julia’s poetry
Readers include: Julia Blumenreich, C.A. Conrad, Eli Goldblatt and others.